A master recipe for deviled eggs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2008

By The Associated Press
People have come to think of deviled eggs as any stuffed hard-boiled egg. But classic deviled eggs combine a perfectly cooked egg white with a filling of moist yolk blended with mayonnaise and something spicy. And that’s it.
Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)
Makes 12 deviled egg halves
6 large eggs
Ice cubes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or several splashes of hot sauce)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Paprika, to garnish
Place the eggs in a large saucepan, then add enough cold water to cover the eggs by at least 1 inch. Set over high heat until the water just comes to a rolling boil.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat, cover and let sit 15 minutes.
While the eggs rest, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
When the eggs are ready, use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the eggs to the ice water and let stand 5 minutes.
One at a time, gently roll the eggs across the table, applying light pressure to evenly crack the shells. Alternatively, the eggs can be lightly tapped with the underside of a spoon.
Starting at the larger end, peel each egg. If the shell sticks, hold the egg under cold running water while peeling. Wipe any remaining shell using a wet paper towel, or run them under cool water.
Dip a paring knife with a sharp, thin blade in cool water. Cut one egg in half lengthwise. Wipe the knife clean, then dip the blade in water and again cut the next egg. Repeat this proceedure with remaining eggs.
Carefully remove the yolks from each egg half and place them in a wire mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. As needed, use a wet paper towel to wipe clean the egg whites. They also can be gently rinsed under cool water. Set aside the egg whites.
Using the underside of a spoon, press the yolks through the strainer. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, cayenne and lemon juice to the yolks and mix until smooth and thick. Season with salt, pepper and additional cayenne, if desired.
Use a rubber spatula to transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star-shaped tip. Refrigerate the bag for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until chilled.
When ready to serve, arrange the egg whites on a platter. If using a flat platter, the rounded bottom of each white can be trimmed flat with a paring knife to help the eggs sit flat.
Pipe the yolk mixture into each egg white, mounding it about 1/2 inch above the top of the egg. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.